Zach Wilson benched for Bears vs. Jets NFL Week 12 game


Zach Wilson benched for Jets vs. Bears

The most important position on the field is in the spotlight every week in the NFL, but the latest quarterback news is that Zach Wilson has been benched by the New York Jets. Mike White will take over as the starter, at least for this week against the Chicago Bears. White and the Jets are -4.5 for the Week 12 game in the Meadowlands in a big game for their playoff chances.

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Not surprisingly, the line didn’t really move much based on this news, as Wilson has graded as one of the league’s worst quarterbacks. The Jets did get as high as -6 earlier this week on reports of the shoulder injury suffered by Justin Fields, but the line had come back down to -4.5 prior to Wednesday’s announcement. Interestingly, at DraftKings, where there is a very, very heavy New York/New Jersey presence, the line bounced up to -5 and the total pushed up from 39.5 to 40.5. Guess we know how they feel about Wilson over there.

Wilson won’t even be active this week, as Joe Flacco will dress as the backup to White.

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Wilson stats vs. White stats vs. Flacco stats

In seven starts, Wilson has completed just 55.6% of his passes with a 4/5 TD/INT ratio. He’s only thrown for 182.7 yards per game and has taken 16 sacks. The last straw was a 9-for-22 performance for just 77 yards (44 net yards) against the New England Patriots last week with four sacks for 33 yards in the 10-3 loss.

The 27-year-old White started three games for the Jets last season and completed 66.7% of his passes, but also completed eight of them to the other team. His 5/8 TD/INT ratio is due in large part to a four-interception, no-touchdown game against Buffalo in Week 11 right before Wilson retook the starting gig. Bettors will remember him for the 405-yard performance that helped knock off the Cincinnati Bengals 34-31 in our first huge upset of the 2021 season in Week 8.

There seemed to be more confidence from the offense, specifically the wide receiver group, with Flacco at the helm for the first three games of the season. The Jets were only 1-2 with the miracle comeback against the Cleveland Browns, but Flacco threw for 300.3 yards per game and posted a 5/3 TD/INT ratio with a 58.7% completion percentage. He took nine sacks over those three games and actually has a lower net yards per attempt and adjusted net yards per attempt than Wilson, hence the decision to go with White.

Jets schedule and playoff chances

The timing of the QB switch makes a ton of sense. In terms of the AFC playoff picture, the Jets are right there, barely on the outside looking in because of head-to-head losses to the Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals. New York is one of three teams at 6-4 and the head-to-head tiebreakers mean that this week’s game is of great importance because the schedule gets tougher moving forward.

After the Bears game, the Jets are at the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills, followed by home games against the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars. They’ll finish the season with consecutive road tilts against the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins. In other words, if the Jets would like to keep their playoff hopes alive, this is a game that they cannot squander.

Per DraftKings, the Jets are +120 Yes and -145 No to make the playoffs. They are only one game out of first place in the division (with wins over the Bills and Dolphins and two losses to the Patriots), but are the long shot at +1800 to win the AFC East. Those brave souls interested can find the Jets at +10000 per the Super Bowl LVII odds.

Darnold named starter for Panthers

Quickly, while we’re on the subject of the Jets, another failed first-round pick is in the news this week with the note that Sam Darnold will get the start for the Carolina Panthers against the Denver Broncos. Darnold and the Panthers are +2.5 at home for Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET kickoff. You can see more on our Broncos vs. Panthers matchup page regarding that game.

NFL Week 12 picks

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